Beepi Inc. is raising at least $300 million in a funding round that would value the used-car marketplace at more than $2 billion and bankroll the national expansion of its service, which lets people purchase cars with a few taps of their smartphone.
The infusion comes as private and public investors continue to pour money into privately held startups at record rates. The number of such startups raising large, late-stage rounds has exploded during the past year. The roster of companies valued at $1 billion or more on the private market is now at an record of 96, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Like ride-service company Uber Technologies Inc., hotel alternative Airbnb Inc., shopping service Instacart Inc. and other marketplace startups that have raised large rounds at lofty valuations, Beepi will use the infusion to expand operations one local market at a time.
Beepi co-founder and Chief Executive Ale Resnik said the “monster round,” which he indicated will likely be more than $300 million by the time it closes next month, will enable him to increase his team of 150 to 500 and be in every major city nationwide by the end of the year, and begin to expand internationally in 2016.
“Their growth has been explosive and unusual,” said Foundation Capital’s Steve Vassallo, who co-led Beepi’s Series B round last year at a $200 million valuation and serves on its board. Mr. Vassallo said Beepi has done nearly twice the transaction volume that founders had previously expected to do at this time–a rarity among early-stage companies because founders tend to be overly optimistic, he said.
Beepi reports doing $100 million in annual revenue for 2014 and expects to do at least $350 million in annual revenue this year based on growth in established markets during the first fiscal quarter and its plan to open in new markets.
This article originally appeared on the Wall Street Journal Tech Blog.
Read the full article about Beepi, including the challenges it faces and the type of investors who will co-lead the round, at Dow Jones VentureWire.